Specsavers National Book Awards 2012 Winners!

Article published on December 5, 2012.

E.L. James stormed to victory in the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year category, knocking out literary heavyweights Kate Mosse, Bernard Cornwell, Victoria Hislop, JoJo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson. The award recognises the massive impact 50 Shades of Grey has made this year; the blockbusting title undoubtedly whipped up quite a stir from the publishing industry, media and consumers alike!

Clare Balding beat off stiff competition in the hotly contested Biography of the Year award, claiming victory over rival authors who included Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell. Balding’s autobiography My Animals and Other Family won one of ten awards presented during the star-studded ceremony.

The ceremony was hosted by the well-loved broadcaster Lorraine Kelly with Dame Mary Perkins handing out the trophies. Showcasing a year of excellence within British publishing, and celebrating titles that boast both wide popular appeal and critical acclaim, the award shortlists provide a welcome guide for Christmas gift buying.

Highlights from the awards will be shown in Lorraine’s ITV1 show on Wednesday 5 December, with Clare Balding as a guest showing off her trophy.

Ian Rankin took home a special Outstanding Achievement Award for his contribution to literature.

Times columnist Caitlin Moran was just pipped at the post to win the Magic FM Non-fiction Book of the Year for the second year running, instead the award went to comedian Miranda Hart for Is It Just Me?, who is fast becoming a national treasure.

Hilary Mantel won the Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year accolade for the second time, mirroring her Booker success, Bring Up the Bodies. A great achievement given the literary prowess of her fellow nominees: Jeanette Winterson, Zadie Smith, John Lanchester, JK Rowling and Deborah Levy. Lee Child emerged victorious from a similarly formidable list of crime writers to take home the Crime book of the Year available at iBookstore for A Wanted Man. The next generation of writers look to be just as impressive as their more established rivals, with Rachel Joyce leading the pack to win the New Writer of the Year Award for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Meanwhile, the newly trim Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers enjoyed the sweet taste of success as their cookery book The Hairy Dieters beat celebrity chefs Mary Berry, Lorraine Pascale and Hugh Fearney-Whittingstall in the WHSmith Food and Drink Book of the Year category.

Comic turned children’s author David Walliams’ book Ratburger won the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year. The Little Britain star saw off competition from Simon Mayo, Liz Pichon, Cathryn Constable and two sets of pirates to take the award.

The public are now invited to vote online for the Specsavers Book of the Year, the nominees of which comprise the winners of all ten categories. You’ve had a chance to read the extracts on Nudge, and may hev even read one or more of the titles yourself, so click here to vote for your favourite.

The final result will be announced on 26th December.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Autobiography/Biography of the Year
My Animals and Other Family, by Clare Balding

Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James

Crime Book of the Year available on iBookstore
A Wanted Man, by Lee Child

Outstanding Achievement Award
Ian Rankin

WHSmith Food & Drink Book of the Year
The Hairy Dieters, by Si King & Dave Myers

International Author of the Year in partnership with Google Play™
The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

Magic FM Non-fiction Book of the Year
Is It Just Me?, by Miranda Hart

Waterstones UK Author of the Year
Bring Up The Bodies, by Hilary Mantel

National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year
Ratburger, by David Walliams

Audible.co.uk Audiobook of the Year
The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, by Sue Townsend, read by Caroline Quentin

New Writer of the Year
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce


National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year Extracts


Fifty Shades Bags National Book Award

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